Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg will testify in a Texas court to deny accusations that the virtual reality platform Oculus Rift was built on stolen technology.
Zuckerberg will be questioned on Tuesday over the purchase of Oculus which Facebook picked up back in 2014 for $2 billion/ £1.64 billion.
ZeniMax is seeking $2 billion in damages after it claimed John Carmack left id Software taking ZeniMax intellectual property with him. Carmack apparently began speaking with Oculus founder Palmer Luckey in 2012, a time when Carmack was still at ZeniMax-owned id Software.
The legal complaint states that Luckey’s headset prototype of the Rift was a “crude prototype” that lacked the “critical features and basic capabilities needed to create a viable product.” ZeniMax claims that Carmack and other ZeniMax employees “literally transformed the Rift by adding physical hardware components and developing specialised software” something which Luckey didn’t have the knowledge to do himself.
Relations between ZeniMax and Oculus changed when Luckey and former Oculus chief executive Brendan Iribe “became increasingly evasive and uncooperative in discussions with ZeniMax regarding appropriate compensation for its technology and support.”
Before Carmack left id Software to join Oculus as its chief technology officer it is claimed that he “secretly and illegally” copied documents containing ZeniMax’s intellectual property onto a USB flash drive and took a VR tool without permission.
To disguise the fact ZeniMax had been involved in some aspects of the Oculus Rift development, Oculus
disseminated to the press the false and fanciful story that Luckey was the brilliant inventor of VR technology who had developed that technology in his parents’ garage. In fact, that story was utterly and completely false.
An Oculus spokesperson said
Oculus and its founders have invested a wealth of time and money in VR because we believe it can fundamentally transform the way people interact and communicate. We’re disappointed that another company is using wasteful litigation to attempt to take credit for technology that it did not have the vision, expertise, or patience to build.
Mark Zuckerberg is expected to take the stand on Tuesday.